Saturday, March 29, 2008

Growing Older is Mandatory; Growing Up is Optional

Well, Happy Belated Birthday to me! I can't believe it's only 3 short years until I hit the big 4-0.

I was in shock yesterday that it was my birthday... denial maybe :) I didn't get to the mourning, negotiating, and accepting stages until today :)

I went and bought myself a new mattress set, firm, with the pillow top. I haven't been sleeping well and I am finding that I need a lot of sleep! It will be a GOOOOOOD birthday present. I can hardly wait...

Going out to supper now with the Big Guy, then to a movie about Superheroes. I need the laugh after having a birthday thrust upon me!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


It occurred to me today that I used to laugh at this when I was working on the Stroke Unit. I used to be the one doing neurovitals and reflex testing. Then one day, in an Neuro Assessment Education day, I was the "dummy" for the class. Boy, did I do well at playing the Dummy! :) LOL. I failed all the tests that I performed on my patients every day.

My Clinical Nurse Educator told me that I should see a Neurologist. He did an MRI and didn't find anything... hehe. Negative Spinal Tap (man, I wouldn't wish that test on anyone!) Based on clinical symptoms, relapses, reflexes and sensation loss, he gave me a "Probable MS" diagnosis after ruling out "everything else". We're in a holding pattern until something more definitive actually shows up on MRI.

In the meantime, I offer free Neuro Assessment for my friends :) OH! And I do Foot Care! Come on over!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Addictive Bean Curry

1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon grated/chopped ginger root
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cans (19 oz each) kidney beans (or mixed beans or other beans)
1 teaspoon (or more!) curry paste
salt to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat and stir fry the mustard and cumin seeds until they pop. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and stir fry until lightly colored. Add tomatoes with juice, beans (drained and rinsed), and 1 tsp curry paste (to start!). Simmer for about 20 minutes or until thick and saucy. Keep adding curry paste to taste during the cooking. Salt to taste. This is easy, healthy, and really addictive! Serve with rice, pita, toast, chapattis, naan, straight from the pot....

Serves: 6

Monday, March 24, 2008

Top Hat Honors

Created for Linda, who didn't get to choose her Monopoly Pieces...

Something you can use when you get "Ear Worms"!

Love you,

Invisible Blues

Here I go, waddling down the mall...

CrazyCath left me a nice comment about working/taking care of self.

I am still, thankfully, able to work nearly full-time as a nurse. I don't accumulate sick days as quickly as I use them, but I am still functional enough to not be a detriment to my employer. I love my job and it's frustrating to wake up some mornings and just not be able to coax my body to get up.

It really bothers me how unpredictable the symptoms are. Have others of you found this?? Sometimes a particularly bothersome spasm will last for a couple of painful weeks, or I'll have on-going (pun intended!) bladder or bowel issues... But often, it's a new thing here and a new thing there with no rhyme or reason. Today, I stepped out of bed onto hot coals (or so I thought). The bottom of my left heel is burning, and it is like a hot steel rod up the bones of my ankle, around the front of my leg, inside my thigh, and like a Brazilian gone bad where we don't wanna go... It's constant, and it hurts like h3<<. I'm grumpy, and my big strong boyfriend doesn't understand. He is very practical, and can't see anything, so how can he understand how new pains and problems are very real??

I'd like to hear your stories of invisible symptoms and/or significant others.

E is for Excellence

Linda was kind enough to award me with this! I'm paying it forward (and back a little, lol). Thanks, Linda!

The Rules: By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you agree to award it to 10 more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. You deserve this! Feel free to recognize blogs that have already received this award.

1. Brain Cheese
2. A Stellarlife
3. bugs, bikes, and brains
4. Merely Me's Multiple Synchronicities
5. Catz Mews
6. A Blessed Mess
7. Disabled Not Dead
8. Crazy Cath
9. Emergiblog
10. Rebirth

Edit: I'm adding a very worthwhile #11! Check out Mother of Shrek -- I could get happily lost there for DAYS!

Give them a BOO and see why I like them so much! And tell them how wonderful they are while you're there!

Have a great day :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why I love animals...

Why can't I be so cute? This is my Annie last summer before she had her Stroke followed by Puppy Strangles. She's been through so much... a little dumber for the wear but happy as can be 9 months later.

She couldn't walk or even hold herself up to poop for 3 weeks... then had to have daily steroid injections for 4 months for the Puppy Strangles. All at the same time as I was beginning to realize that not all was well in my own brain... Annie came back just fine, and blesses us with endless kisses and trouble. No garbage can is safe! No underwear can hide! No nose is not a tongue receptacle!

I love her. She's my littlest inspiration.

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Japanese Name

I was playing around with Kanji last year after my brother started using it to watermark his photos. I wanted to know what "Shawna" would be. He worked on it phonetically and it came out as meaning "cabbage" and "old lady". Nope, not so much, lol. I want a different trademark.

So I asked for symbols for "little bird" since I often use that as my handle. This is the result. Suzume, which is a little sparrow. It is singing on the roof of the house with it's wings spread. This is me. There is freedom in this name.

Another symbol I love is "crisis", which is literally "danger" and "opportunity" combined. I'll have to look it up and post it. I try to remember that even relapses come with danger opportunities.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Piggy-backing on my friends

Thank you all for your comments on work-place disclosure! You make some good points and it's great to know what has worked for others.

My Dx is still in the "probable" stage, and I can cover up most symptoms except for the fatigue right now. I just don't want to be explaining in the middle of a relapse if it comes to that.

I believe and hope that my co-workers will be very understanding, seeing as we work in end-stage cancer care. I don't want to use MS as an "excuse", but they also know that I am a hard worker and watch their backs, too.

Anyway, thanks again, and it's great to make new friends!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hold on a Gol-darn minute...

When I see this, I think "MS Society, can you Walk for the Cure?"

I can turn my head part way left again! YAY! To the right, not so much yet.

How have others of you handled telling your employees about what's going on with you? I would love to give my supervisor a head's-up before summer hits, but at the same time, I might be able to sail through without a problem (I hope hope hope).

I'd love to hear what any of you have done with this dilemna! (the work thing, not the incontinence, LOL).

What a completely unrelated post! I'm a scatterbrain today...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Underneath it all...

Yeeeeup, I made the mistake of going lingerie shopping today...
Thankfully, with the (seemingly long-term guest) crick in my neck, I couldn't see the back view for love nor money.

I choose my in-timates on a different scale these days. Gone are the lacy perky things and in are the "won't irritate or over-heat" soft and who the heck cares what it looks like anyways because I seem to have lost that drive I once had (nobody's fault but that dang monkey mentioned below).

How weird, to finally have found the love of my life, and have lost the zap that makes things go hmmmmmmm.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Monkey Business

OK, who let the monkeys outta their cage to run wild in my nervous system?

We have some serious monkey business (complete with *crap* as seen in the picture) going on here today.

What a mess.

I KNEW that I was wayyyy past exhausted yesterday... went in to work anyway. I had Dropsies and had to keep wasting meds. Boosting patients was fun with spasming/weak muscles in my back, neck, arms, and hands. No sleep due to a new spasm in my neck that hasn't gone away. Bladder's completely out to lunch today. And a weird little twitch in my upper lip that is going to drive me to distraction!!!

Send me lots of T.P. to clean up the mess I'm going to make of myself by fulfilling my nursing duties tonight again. I have no more sick days at the moment... so I don't have the luxury of taking the evening off :-(

Now I know what it really means to have a monkey on my back!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Nursing Humour Alert

OK, OK, you were warned. And we really *are* smarter than this fine specimen :)

All the same, it's my 10yo daughter's favourite cartoon at the moment... so if it made you laugh, you're either as Smart as a 5th Grader... or a Nurse... or just Wicked ;-)

Just look at all the breaches of Universal Precautions -- EWW. And what are they infusing into this poor guy -- Bile?

So, if you are having a bad morning... just be thankful that you aren't strapped down and missing any jewels today!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A wee bit sensitive, are we??

Claude Oscar Monet, 1840-1926

Irises (L), & Water Lilies (R)

Monet -- makes me feel so peaceful -- I guess that I just needed some visuals today. I may be a very visual person, I think. I need colors, I need to live through pictures. Maybe I'm just sensual (or is it sensuous?) Hehe. How things make me feel matters. The texture of clothes, scents, sounds... can drive me up the wall in distraction or ease me into contentment. Sensitive, yeah, a bit touched maybe ;-) .

So now, with Neurological issues, nearly anything can set me off. Literally "fry my brain", lol. Hyper-reflexive -- don't touch my foot or I'll kick you in the nose! Drop an ice cube down my shorts and I'll scream in pain from the burning. Slam the door and peel me off the ceiling. Drive past police car strobe lights and I'll have an instant migraine.

It's so odd to be so freakishly sensitive, and half the time not be able to feel parts of me at all. I started to get my upper lip waxed (shhhhhh) a few months ago, and every time, I wind up not able to feel my nose or lip for a week. And what happened to my "saddle region"?! Where did those little nuggets of "I neeed it" go? Or my feet -- why can I walk around with a popcorn kernel stuck to the bottom of my foot for gosh knows how long without feeling it there?!

I have heard that Monet painted the above pictures after he developed cataracts. He saw everything with a red over-tone for many years, as is typical for cataract sufferers. They are still beautiful paintings, even when I have double vision and blind spots :) Heck, if Monet could paint through grief and near blindness, I can still kick a can or two myself (even with numb feet)...

Mmmmmm, Joe

Well, ideally, I would go faster and have some energy, LOL. But I do my best on the first part!

Today's Most Embarrassing Moment

Porky says it best, b-dee b-dee (click, hear my woes, and page back to me!)

Sure, yeah, I know that Pool is spelled with a capital "P" for a reason... still, I just couldn't... so off I scooted to try to aim for the shower room. Well, let's just say it's lucky I was well-hydrated so that the water running down me didn't look as if it shouldn't be there. Stupid, stupid, bladder!! I didn't even realize that I had to go, and then it was RIGHT NOW!

The story of my life these days... Water, Water, Everywhere...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Diving right in...

... to Blogging ...
I've been standing here in my sexy purple tube and froggy flippers long enough.

WELCOME to my world.

My hero and greatest inspiration *because she can make me laugh* with wit and wisdumm... Linda over at Brain Cheese. Check her out -- even if you don't currently enjoy the pleasures of MS, she'll open your eyes to new insights (and great cartoons).

I also read Nursing Blogs, and the Best of the Best by all means is Kim at Emergiblog.
How she finds all of her beautiful, ridiculous Nurses of the past pictures as they do wonderful things to help the smiling, peaceful doctors... I'll never know.

OK, more story later. Time to actually go swimming with the kiddoes.